A look at how the Quarterbacks of the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs have done at their teams, following with the signal caller for the Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes.
Drafted in the first round of the 2017 draft when the Chiefs gave up their first and third-round picks to the Bills to take him at the 10th pick. He set the single-game passing yard and total yardage record in college when Texas Tech took on Oklahoma and throwing for 734 yards and 5 TDs while also rushing for 85 yards and 2 rushing scores. He finished that 2016 season leading the league in passing yards and TDs thrown and earned a 1st/2nd round draft grade in a lot of places.
He couldn’t have landed in a better spot under the tutelage of Andy Reid and for his first season the mentorship of Alex Smith who he has credited for helping develop him into the player he’s become. He played just the final game of the season in his rookie year and showed enough that they allowed Smith to leave the team that summer.
It’s safe to say that was the correct decision as Mahomes set records in his first year as starter throwing for over 5,000 yards and 50 TDs as the Chiefs marched to the Championship round of the AFC only to lose in overtime to the Patriots. He finished the game with 3 TDs and a passer rating of 117 as they came back from a scoreless first half to tie 31-31 at the end of regulation, they didn’t get to take the field as the Pats scored with the first possession of OT.
The Superbowl run.
This season hasn’t been as statistically dominant as Mahomes suffered a couple of injuries for the first time as a pro, a sprained ankle slowed him before a goal-line rush attempt resulted in him dislocating his knee against the Broncos. He somehow only missed two games with that injury but a combination of the two ailments meant he was slowed for probably 6 weeks.
This last 8 games though he seems to be back to the form of last year, winning all 8 and covering the spread in each of them.
The Chiefs have started slowly in both postseason games so far going 24-0 down against the Texans and 10-0 against the Titans, but Mahomes barely twitched and led his team back lead at half time in both games. The Texans game was especially impressive leading them to SEVEN consecutive TD drives. His personal post-season stats; 615 passing yards, 8 TDs, 0 INTs, an average passer rating of 131.5 as well as 106 yards and 1 TD on the ground.
Let’s dig a little deeper into his season.
Due to him missing a couple of games this year PFF have him ranked at #15, but when you go by their passer grades, he’s in 5th with 8.3 yards per attempt, 26 TDs, and 5 INTs this season completing 65.9% of his passes.
They have him at a similar rank to Jimmy Garoppolo when under pressure, completing 50% of his passes with an adjusted rating of 68.3. He was only pressured on 28% of dropbacks so the offensive line did its job pretty well, those dropbacks resulted in 8 TDs and 2 Ints. PFF have his passer rating under pressure at 95.1 compared to Garoppolo’s 74.3 (See Jimmy Garoppolo’s profile here)
Keeping him clean.
He ranked 15th in adjusted completions (78.8), a full 10 spots lower than the man he’s against this week. There was only a 3% difference in their rankings though so it’s a tight call. When clean, he completed 71.5% of his passes and threw for 18 TDs and just 3 interceptions and a passer rating of 113.4 vs 109.2 for Jimmy G.
So what should we expect this coming week?
We’ve got to assume there will be more of the same from Mahomes and the Chiefs who pass on 67% of their plays. They’ll hopefully not let the 49ers get out to a big lead but either way, Mahomes will be the main man in the offense, and I think that’s what most of us want. He’s the most gifted QB in the league and since recovering from those injuries has been the best in the second half of the season, he’s averaged 308 yards and 4 TDs per game in the postseason through the air, his line is set around 302 and 36 pass attempts this weekend which seems about right against a good 49ers defense.
Can he lead his team to the win if he’s required to do so?
He’s the best QB in the game at the moment and I doubt the biggest stage of all will phase him, nothing seems to do that to him so far in his short career. The Chiefs can score quicker than anyone else and twice this year they’ve put up 28 points in a single quarter including that playoff games vs the Texans with Mahomes throwing for all 4 of the TDs as he put the team on his back.
It’s not just the numbers that make him so exciting to watch it’s how he does it, he’s one of the most exciting players in the game to watch with a huge arm, no-look passes, accuracy on the move and good decision making as well as being able to take off and run in for a score himself if required. If he plays like he has all season I can’t see how the 49ers stop him.